|GRINDSTONE 100: PAIN IS TEMPORARY [PRIDE IS FOREVER]|
|Ryan Nebel & Ben Wyrick|
It was a little chilly and drizzling rain—basically what has become “Grindstone Weather”—as we stepped off on the Odyssey that is running a 100 miler.
|Running with Ryan and Bryan Photo: Sean Raines|
|Muddy shoes were great for warding off sketchy people at the Econo Lodge after the race|
During the race, the shoes were so caked in mud that I didn’t realize that they had holes in them.
|Shredded Altra Olympus 2.0|
I needed to work the problem and find the solution. In the end that solution was slowing down, taking on salt, laying off the water for a while, and letting go of my time goals and ego.
|Warm clothes and food make all the difference.|
|Getting Pawel the vert I promised him|
|Ginger joins the crew in the rain (preggo & everything-- awesome!)|
I felt so lucky to have such great people supporting me that I no longer cared about the clock. I was just happy to be out in the mountains moving steadily and with a purpose towards the finish. And eventually we got there. 29 Hours and 56 minutes later. Almost a full work day longer than I had thought it would take. You would think I might be disappointed. I am not.
|You're not a finisher until you hug the totem pole.|
1. I have never had to look failure so squarely in the face before. I like running ultras because they allow us to test ourselves. We can learn so many lessons from doing things that might result in failure. I will cherish the lessons from Grindstone. The most important one was to really embrace the process and think less about the finish. I love being in the mountains with my friends, and when you get fixated on the finish line you miss out on some of the fun of exploring.
2. Before the race, Jordy had told me that I needed to have the discipline to race from start to finish. He told me not to allow myself to be broken or become satisfied. Although I was unable to “race” from start to finish, I believe I heeded his advice. I was never satisfied. I never just phoned it in. I ran smart early and when things didn’t go my way I pushed as hard as I could just to finish. That doesn’t mean I went fast. But I never let myself just slog or give up. I moved with a purpose—even when I didn’t want to.
3. I Chose Joy. That idea has been a mantra in our group since Brett or Jordy (I can’t remember who) came across it in a race report a while back. Ginger gave me a card on Friday that she colored that said: Choose Joy. When I was tired and feeling bummed, that card reminded me that I’m lucky to be able to do these things and I should choose to enjoy it. I was able to do that, and that made all the difference.
4. Having such an amazing crew of people around me made me feel like I must be doing something right in life. I’m lucky that people will be that generous with their time, and I’m proud to have these friends in my life.
|If you ever need a crew chief, Sean is your man. He is on top of it! (Well, he DID wear jeans to Grindstone, but he's one top of taking care of other people)|
|Chris Larson is an amazing pacer. Steady, calm, and always upbeat.|
Brett and Jordy: thanks for being the best training partners, mentors, and friends I could ask for.